Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Gloat

Well, a gloat of sorts. My semi-right prediction (I was totally wrong regarding Nick, of course) It's possible that DA will go with the (sensible, IMO) feminist line that government policy on prostitution makes it possible for mad serial killers to operate, but that may be projection on my part. Well, Aaro did consider this position, before rejecting it. So, full marks to 'Redpesto' - even though he said that Aaro wouldn't discuss this.
It's taken me a day to get round to this - and this is a sort of placemarker - because Dave claims that he read an article by a former aide to David Blunkett, Katharine Raymond, who had been involved in the drawing-up in 2004 of a consultation document on prostitution, called Paying the Price. (You can download the report and other gubbins from this Home Office page.) If he read it, then I should too: it's 120 pages (OK some are blank) of government report. Fascinating. So I haven't yet.
Anyway, DA quotes a passage or two to show that he has laboured through the whole thing, such as this.

And I discovered, to my surprise, that, experience in both Australia and Europe suggests that licensing schemes have failed to deliver the safe working environment that they set out to achieve.

The report I have is a PDF document, which is easily searched. You would think, in the context of the murders in Suffolk, that safe working environment would refer to freedom from attack. Page 85, section 9.18, complete and unabridged:

In respect of the lives of those involved in the trade, experience in both Australia and Europe suggests that licensing schemes have failed to deliver the safe working environment that they set out to achieve. While some licensed brothels provide some safety and support, there is evidence that some licensed brothel managers actively encourage sex without condoms, and some threaten dismissal if there is reluctance to comply with a client's wishes.

However, despite picking a paragraph which does not substantiate his point, Dave does adumbrate the pessimistic conclusions of the report very well. I think he's wrong - though mostly in the emphases he chooses. Tony Blair can’t stop an Ipswich teenager deciding to become a crack fiend .... This is true, though no one expects him to. Some of us may expect the state to, or at least be organised in a way which produces the fewest 'crack fiends'. I don't believe in 'governmental omnipotence' but I do believe that governments can choose more or less liberal policies and more or less effective ones.

I shall probably return to this.

The title is a little disingenuous: this post in fact contains two gloats. Nick, last week: But maybe it shouldn't be such a surprise that Mori reported in The Observer last week that Cameron's personal ratings had collapsed after his honeymoon period ... Well, the Observer's sister paper reports that ICM shows 8 point Tory lead. Really, Nick, DA showed how to attack the Tories - rubbish their policies, not their poll ratings.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...If there’s a liberal consensus going, I naturally want to be part of it..."

Coffee over keyboard etc. Or is Dave teasing just us?

12/21/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger fatbongo said...

The thing about 'paying the price' is that it was written with certain policy outcomes in mind - decriminalising prostitution wasn't ever a possibility.

In many places they asbo prostitutes instead.

12/21/2006 02:25:00 PM  

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